WHAT CLIENTS SAY

Get the scoop straight from them!

“Wow, did I have fun dancing to the Butterfly Swing Band! A real blast from the past, and Kate Nicolaou’s vocals were so authentic; mellifluous love ballads and hard-swinging jitterbugs. She is the real deal.”

Kit Johnson
Dancer

“We had the pleasure of hosting the Butterfly Swing Band on April 30th, 2019, International Jazz Day. The band was very professional and musically entertaining. Our students enjoyed the performance very much. Also included was discussion of the music being performed and information about the styles of music was shared. I look forward to hearing them perform again.”

Roger HaenerMusic Educator / Crochet Mountain School

“The Butterfly Swing Band knows how to keep us dancing! With lead vocalists Kate Nicolaou and Brian Bender easily shifting from contagiously upbeat to warmly tender and soulful vocals, and the bands creative instrumentation and rhythmic tempos, bring the room alive with enthusiasm and fun no matter the style or genre.”

Daphne ByeDancer

OUR CORE PROFESSIONALS

Our configuration is flexible. We can reduce the number of musicians from our core group, or add as many featured artist as required to meet your unique needs!

Joe LoMonaco

Bandleader, Butterfly Swing Band Though relatively new to the drums, Joe  started playing guitar in elementary school where he was first introduced to many standard swing tunes. Ever since,  Joe has been picking the guitar within various genres and came full circle when he envisioned the Butterfly Swing Band and picked up the drum sticks.   Joe has lived in the area for 40 years and taught guitar at Keene State College in the 70’s.  He has also played with various Vermont and New Hampshire bands, including Fritz and the Katzenjammers and the Troy Road Traveling Cigar Band.

RobBy Roiter

Robby is a guitarist and music teacher based in Western Massachusetts He plays repertoires ranging from standards through bossa novas and modern jazz. In addition Robby performs in cafes weddings, jam sessions concerts and more.

Brian Bender

Performing  across the United States and internationally with various Jazz, Dixieland, Klezmer, Raggae, Celtic, Funk, Blues, Ska, Brazilian, Latin and African Bands.  He has performed at Carnegie Hall and at the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton. Brian is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.  He teaches private lessons and ensembles to children and adults, owns and operates Face The Music Recording Studio in Shutesbury, MA and works as a freelance live sound engineer.

 

Kate Nicolaou

Kate embraces all  opportunities to jump, jive, wail, and croon with Butterfly  Swing!  Kate's love of music stems from listening to jazz, classical, and gold old   rock n' roll, as well as jamming with  her musical family. The retro swing scene from the 1990s  renewed her enthusiasm for swing era music and dance.

Living in Amherst with her husband and two girls, Kate has sung with the Valley Jazz Voices, shared the stage with  various area instrumentalists, and gathered tips from  renowned vocalists, Karrin Allyson and Shelia Jordan. Kate has been teaching young children in music, community building and movement for the past 20 years.  Additionally, Kate enjoys guiding teens and adults through workshops bolstering improvisational skills.

Bill Shontz

Bill is a gifted entertainer, musician, singer, songwriter, producer and educator. In addition to his versatile singing voice he has mastered the clarinet, flute, saxophone, recorder, Didjeri Du and various wooden flutes. Bill's musical styles range from jazz/swing, rock n' roll to folk and sing-alongs. He has received 25 national awards, 10 award-winning Albums and an Emmy Nomination. For 20 years Bill was one half of the nationally acclaimed due RosenShontz. Bill has performed in such notable places The White House, Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox, Live with Kathy Lee and Regis, The Today Show and even Disneyland and has performed with such notables as 60's group Orpheus and Benard ""Pretty" Purdy.

Amanda Bernhard

Amanda is a singer and musician from Western Massachusetts. She sings an eclectic mix, spanning from traditional Irish sean-nós music to classical Italian arias, Broadway big-show numbers, and jazz classics. As a speech-language pathologist, Amanda also enjoys finding ways of using music as a therapeutic tool for adults and children who have voice and communication difficulties. Music has always been a part of her life, and she grew up listening to her dad play Dixieland classics on the piano. She delights in the joyous music of the swing era and the smile it brings to dancers and listeners.

James DAGgs

James was raised in a musical family of longtime Jazz musicians and began his professional career at 18. He has performed in multiple venues including the Hartford Jazz Festival, The Hartford Monday Night Jazz Series, SPAC Little Theatre, NYC Central Park, NYC Jazz Mobile, Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park, Vermont's Flynn Theatre, and Middlebury College. James has performed with a wide variety of groups including Upside Down, Joe Gitto Jazz Quartet, Seven Rabbit Stew and the Capitol District All Star Jazz Ensemble. He has also freelanced with a virtual who's who of the area's Jazz scene including John Park, April Marie. Cary DeNigris, Sonny Daye among many others.

FEATURED ARTISTS

Other members of the band who perform with us!

Don Baldini

Ron Kelley

WaltER Slowinski

Ted Wirt

Ricky Page

Lynn Lovell

Cathy Martin, Pianist

Emily Fox

Dance Instructor

Let's talk Dance!

You don't need to be a pro to dance and have fun! We can teach you!

Our dance instructors are articulate professionals with years of experience, competently teaching many styles of dance including East and West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Cha Cha Cha and the Waltz. They are available for weddings, club performance dance events, festivals and private parties. Not only will they provide a pre-event dance lesson, they can get down and dirty throughout your event, inviting the multitudes in your entourage to the dance floor, encouraging them to unleash their inner dancer! They will certainly help to ensure that your event is successful, fun and lively.
Christine Lebel

Dance Instructor

WHAT CLIENTS SAY

Get the scoop straight from them!

"My parents were professional ballroom dancers. I grew up on good dance music but as a professional musician myself I am fussy. I love butterfly swing band!"

Alison Hale
Mount Holyoke College Music Instructor
and Educator

Carnegie Hall performance 1982

"I love them, even the young folks love them.  That they are accomplished musicians is a given and their music really draws you in.
Its almost as much fun to watch the dancers and in case someone needs a dancing boost they offer lessons before many performances.
…in today’s world with so much going on you can spend and evening with Butterfly Swing Band, put aside your cares and woes and just have a blast!
…with Butterfly Swing Band you know you can count on a really great evening of music, dancing or singin’ along when they play some of the old favorites.
Butterfly Swing Band - our very own gem -  always a fun evening just listening to them.  And don’t be daunted if you think you can’t dance - the lessons are great for getting everyone out of their chairs and out on the dance floor"

Betsy CobbDancer

"Dear Joe,

On behalf of the Crotched Mountain Trustees, staff and students, I extend our heartfelt thanks for the performance of the Butterfly Swing Band on April 30, 2019, International Jazz Day.

The band was very professional from the moment they arrived, through a few hours of set up and sound checks, during the hour long performance and to the moment we said goodbye. The music was excellent, entertaining and educational. The addition of information about the style music being performed, added to the atmosphere of joy. Our students enjoyed the concert very much.

The Crotched Mountain School supports approximately 90 students with a variety of diagnostic conditions and medical complexities including autism, genetic anomalies that result in developmental delay, seizure disorders, mobility impairments and communication disorders. Without musicians like your group, who are willing to come to our campus, these students would probably not be able to experience a live jazz concert.

Music teacher, Roger Haener and I send our appreciation to you and your band. We look forward to hearing you perform again!

Deb DeCicco
Assistant to the President

Crotched Mountain Foundation

Deb DeCiccoAssistant to the President

Crochet Mountain School